Maine Republican Party Chairman Charles Webster said Monday he’s uncovered more than 200 cases of election fraud in Maine. And he says as many as 8 to 10 percent of the out-of-state students he saw registered to vote in Maine were registered to vote in two places.
Maine election law states that, in order to register, a voter has to declare Maine as his or her residence and intends to return there after absences. “Our election laws need reform and I believe are being abused,” Webster said at a State House news conference.
… Webster’s claims of fraud were quickly shot down by Democrats and leaders of a coalition trying to force a statewide repeal vote.
“Charlie Webster has now made this about disenfranchising college voters,” said House Minority Leader Emily Cain, a Democrat whose district includes the UMaine campus. “They’re trying to justify a bad law change.”
Cain is also a UMaine doctoral student and part-time employee.
UMaine Dean of Students Robert Dana said the university’s nonpartisan get-out-the-vote program, UVote, boosted voter participation on campus.
“College students are good citizens and want to be good citizens,” Dana said. “I don’t think they want to knowingly defraud the system.”
Webster’s list includes people who purportedly registered in their home states and then in Maine; international students who may not be legal U.S. citizens; and some who voted in their home states as well as Maine.
“It takes advantage of the fact that, in college towns, there are a lot of people from different localities coming together,” Dana said of Webster’s claims.